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Rugged PC Review Monthly News Archive [ Back to news index]

October 2012

Trimble introduces embedded M6e-Micro RFID reader module
Trimble introduced its next-generation embedded UHF RFID reader module for handhelds, portables and stationary devices. The performance (up to 700 tags per second!) and small size of the M6e-Micro mean increased efficiency, reduced development costs and quicker time-to-market for RFID applications. Measuring just 46 x 26 mm, the M6e-Micro has two antenna ports and can transmit up to +30 dBm (1 Watt) of power, enough for the most demanding applications. [See press release and M6e-Micro page] -- Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2012

OmniVision launches new 8mp/1080p video CameraChip
OmniVision, a developer of digital imaging solutions, announced the OV8835, a 8-megapixel CameraChip solution for smartphones and tablets that also allows 1080p/30 or 720p/60 HD video and can operate at 30 FPS for zero shutter lag. The CameraChip fits into an industry standard 8.5 x 8.5 mm package. Our take: If it fits into smartphones, we'd like to see it in rugged handhelds and tablets where powerful, high quality documentation capabilities would be a definite plus. -- Posted Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Intermec announces Intermec Beijing Technology Co. Ltd
Intermec announced Intermec Beijing Technology Co. Ltd (Intermec China), a Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WFOE). Located in the Haidian district of Beijing, Intermec China will be able to contract with customers directly using the local currency (CNY). It also enables Intermec to import and export goods as well as purchase goods and services for use in and outside of China, and permits Intermec to employ people directly without the use of a government intermediary. [See full press release] -- Posted Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Trimble introduces next-generation, faster Yuma 2 rugged tablet
Trimble announced the Yuma 2, a rugged 2.6-pound tablet computer powered by a dual-core 1.6GHz Intel Atom N2600 processor. The Yuma's 7-inch screen uses hybrid reflective/transmissive display technology and has a capacitive multi-touch screen. The IP65-sealed tablet comes with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, dual batteries that last a full-shift, integrated GPS, 5mp geo-tagging camera, and optional 3.75G WWAN. [See description, analysis and specs of the Trimble Yuma 2] -- Posted Monday, October 29, 2012

MobileDemand launches Windows 8 fully-rugged xTablet T1200
MobileDemand launched what the company calls the world's first Windows 8 fully rugged Tablet PC. The new T1200 has a 10.4 AFFS+ XGA display with resistive multi-touch (so it can be used with gloves and in the rain), is powered by a third-gen Intel Core i5-3427U processor, and offers up to 10 hours of operation. The 4.8-pound T1200 is IP65-sealed, can handle 5-foot drops, and operate in a very wide -4 to 140° Fahrenheit. Pricing starts at US$3,000. [See description, analysis and specs of the MobileDemand T1200] -- Posted Monday, October 29, 2012

Microsoft unveils Windows Phone 8
Microsoft officially debuted Windows Phone 8, the latest version of the company's smartphone operating system, along with details and pricing for a range of new smartphones from Nokia (Lumia 920), Samsung (ATIV S) and HTC (8X). With a similar look and feel, the same technology core, and the same built-in SkyDrive cloud service, Microsoft says Windows Phone 8 is built to work seamlessly with Windows 8 PCs, Microsoft Surface devices and the Xbox 360 console. [See Microsoft press release] -- Posted Monday, October 29, 2012

Intermec adds updated models to its CK3 line of rugged mobile computers
Intermec announced what it called the "Next Generation Series" of the Intermec CK3 rugged mobile computer, consisting of the newly TI OMAP-powered CK3X and CK3R. The CK3X, which supports voice and RFID, is optimized for warehouse operations and is the natural migration option from the existing CK3B, while the CK3R is optimized for light industrial and retail front of store applications. [See description and specs of the Intermec CK3R and CK3X] -- Posted Monday, October 29, 2012

Windows RT: how suitable is it for vertical markets?
Though as of this writing, October 27, 2012, Windows 8 and RT were just officially unveiled a couple of days ago, reams have already been written on Windows 8 and, to a much lesser extent, Windows RT. We got our Surface RT tablet on October 26 with the intent on reporting on the Surface hardware and RT software in some detail. However, our emphasis will be on their suitability for vertical and industrial markets. For a first impression of Windows RT, and some very interesting findings, read on... -- Posted Saturday, October 27, 2012

Xplore announces pricing of two million share stock offering
Xplore Technologies announced the pricing of its underwritten public offering of 2,000,000 shares of its common stock at an offering price of $5.00 per share. Xplore says the net proceeds from this $10 million offering will be used to expand sales and marketing efforts, increase product offerings and for working capital and general corporate purposes. [See press release] -- Posted Saturday, October 27, 2012

Panasonic announces resellers of the year
Panasonic named its Reseller of the Year Awards at the annual Panasonic Solutions Partner Summit 2012 this week in Phoenix, AZ. Among them are DataSource Mobility as the Top Healthcare Reseller, PCS Mobile as the Top Toughbook Reseller, and Paradigm Systems Solutions as the overall Reseller of the Year. -- Posted Friday, October 26, 2012

Rugged tablets in wafer fab patrol management: Samwell Ruggedbook SR820
While wafer and chip manufacturing processes are almost 100% automated, checking and patroling all the robots, machines and procedures involved isn't always. Often at least part of it remains a manual procedure with manual controls, lots of paperwork, and all the waste and potential for error that entails. There is great potential for tablet computers such as the Samwell RUGGEDBOOK SR820 to automate those steps, and save tons of paper in the process. [See Rugged tablets help to make wafer fabs greener, more efficient] -- Posted Thursday, October 25, 2012

DAP Technologies announces Windows 8 and Gobi 3000 options for rugged procap tablet
DAP Technologies announced that enterprise customers interested in improving wireless connectivity with WWAN and putting Microsoft Windows 8 to work can now take advantage of these options on DAP Technologies' rugged M9700 tablet. [See DAP press release] -- Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Motorola Solutions Q3 2012 sales up slightly, earnings up 28%
Motorola Solutions announced third-quarter 2012 results highlighted by sales of $2.15 billion, up 3% from the third quarter of 2011 and driven by good demand in its Government segment. Government sales rose 12% to 1.5 billion whereas enterprise sales dropped 13% to US$632 million. Earnings were US$324 million, up from $253 million for the quarter a year ago. The company holds US$3.5 billion in cash and expects overall 6-6.5% sales growth for 2012 to reflect revenues for Psion, which Motorola Solutions acquired on Oct. 1, 2012 (Note: Psion had about US$290 million annual revenue). -- Posted Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Honeywell announces rugged Enterprise Hybrid Device
Honeywell announced the Dolphin 70e Black. It's what Honeywell calls a rugged Enterprise Hybrid Device, or EHD, and it was created for auto-ID and data capture customers who want something lighter and sleeker than a traditional industrial handheld. The Dolphin 70e Black looks like a modern smartphone, measures about 2.7 x 5.5 x 0.75 inches, weighs 7 ounces, has a 4.3-inch sunlight-readable display with a capacitive touch screen, and is sealed to IP67 specs. The battery lasts up to 12 hours and the device includes an enterprise-class area imager. The device will be available in February of 2012 both in Windows and Android versions. [See Honeywell press release] -- Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Apple Event October 23, 2012: New 13" MacBook Pro, Mac mini, iMacs and a 7.9-inch iPad mini
Apple announcements used to be among the most highly anticipated media events on the planet when everyone wanted to see Steve Jobs do his magic on stage. It's not the same anymore without Steve, it, but everyone still breathlessly awaits the news from Cupertino, especially when it's the long rumored smaller iPad. [more] -- Posted Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Motorola Solutions introduces HC1 headset computer for completely hands-free operation
Motorola Solutions introduced the HC1 headset computer. The HC1 combines an OMAP 3730-powered computer with a micro-display to create a wearable headset device that is completely hands-free to operate via voice commands and sensor-based head-tracking. The HC1 was created in a collaboration between Motorola Solutions and Kopin Corporation, and uses Kopin's Golden-i technology. [See analysis and specs of the Motorola HC1 headset computer] -- Posted Monday, October 22, 2012

Datalogic celebrates 40th anniversary
Datalogic, the Italy-based global provider of auto ID solutions, bar code readers, data collection mobile computers and vision systems, is celebrating 40 years of bringing their solutions and products to customers in multiple vertical sectors. Datalogic now has over 2,400 employees, over 1,000 partners worldwide, and is best known to RuggedPCReview.com readers for their rugged handhelds and mobile computers (see here). [See Datalogic press release] -- Posted Friday, October 19, 2012

MobileDemand opens Taipei office
MobileDemand, the nation's leading provider of Rugged Tablet PC systems in the Transportation industry, announced the opening of a new office in the capital city of Taipei, Taiwan and expansion of its world headquarters in Hiawatha, Iowa. Under the direction of Wen Shih, Executive Director of the new Asia facility, the staff in the Taipei, Taiwan office will be focused on building and maintaining the Asian supply chain infrastructure. -- Posted Thursday, October 18, 2012

ADLINK beefs up marketing group
Embedded platform and module specialists ADLINK Technology announced new leadership in its Americas Marketing unit with the addition of industry veteran Matthias Huber as VP of Marketing. He brings over 17 years of experience in embedded computing, including over 10 years at Kontron, with a particular focus on computer-on-module technology and customer-focused solutions. The hire of Huber clearly aligns with ADLINK's goal to establish a majority position in the modular computing market. -- Posted Thursday, October 18, 2012

The next gen of super-tough tiny GoPro cameras is here
GoPro makes those tiny, super-tough HD cameras that are used in some of the most demanding environments on earth. Now they released the Hero3 with a slimmer, lighter body, integrated WiFi, a better lens, better audio and numerous other improvements. The Hero3 has a new and totally waterproof flat-lens housing that's compatible with all older mounting hardware. The new line comes in three very different editions (white (US$199), silver (US$299), and black (US$399), with the top-of-the-line Black Edition capable of recording 1080p at 60 fps, and even 4k video. [See our detailed analysis of the Hero3] -- Posted Thursday, October 18, 2012

Juniper Systems releases Aspect Field Mapping Solutions
Juniper Systems announced Juniper Aspect Field Mapping Solutions. Formerly known as IntuiTrace, the new, enhanced version offers more imagery options, increased database functionality, and compatibility with Bing and Google Earth maps, ESRI, ArcGIS Online and existing customer GIS. Juniper Aspect was designed from the ground up as an accurate as-built documentation solution for the Juniper Mesa Rugged Notepad and Archer Field PC that seamlessly synchronizes between handhelds and desktops. [See the Juniper Systems Aspect page, the Aspect brochure, or view an Aspect explanation video on YouTube. -- Posted Tuesday, October 16, 2012

What will Microsoft's Surface RT tablets mean?
What will the arrival of Microsoft's Surface RT tablets mean to the vertical and industrial market? Will there be rugged tablets running Windows RT? Or will the ever-important leverage factor dictate that most enterprise and industrial tablets remain x86-based and compatible with legacy Windows? [read more] -- Posted Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Xplore announces US$2.2 million in Purchase Orders
Xplore Technologies, which makes the rugged iX104C5 tablet computer, announced that it received US$2.2 million in purchase orders for the week ended October 12, 2012. Approximately US$1.1 million of these purchase orders were received from a leading medical device company focused on advanced heart failure solutions, with the balance coming from a number of existing customers, such as Daimler, and partners, such as VT Miltope for the US Air Force. -- Posted Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Microsoft Surface with Windows RT tablet available for order with October 26 delivery
Microsoft announced more details on its Surface tablets, and offered "special limited quantity pre-order" of the Surface with Windows RT tablet, with delivery by October 26, 2012. Pricing for the Surface RT: US$499 32GB w/o touch cover, US$599 32GB with touch cover, and US$699 64GB with touch cover. Different color touch covers or a "type" cover are available at extra cost. Tablet specs: 10.8 x 6.8 x 0.37 inches, 1.5 pounds, Nvidia Tegra T30 processor, 2GB RAM, 32 or 64GB storage, 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, dual 720p cameras, 10.6-inch display (1366 x 768), 5-pount multi-touch, USB 2.0, microSDHX. We ordered ours and will report on its potential impact on rugged, industrial and vertical markets in detail asap. [See Windows Surface RT page and Comparison Surface Windows RT vs Surface Windows 8 Pro -- Posted Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Intel Q3 financials down
Intel reported Q3 2012 revenues of US$13.5 billion, down from US$14.2 billion Q3, 2011. Net income was down as well, from US$3.5 billion Q3, 2011, to US$3.0 billion Q3 this year. And that's despite the critically acclaimed 3rd gen Core processors. The problem seems, in our opinion, that tablets have not only replaced Intel-based netbooks, non-Intel tablets are also replacing a good number of laptops. It should be interesting to see how ARM-based Windows RT tablets will do against x86-based Windows 8 tablets, and whether Windows 8 will be boom or bust for new Intel-powered hardware sales. [See Intel press release] -- Posted Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Black Diamond Advanced Technology delivers Modular Tactical System to US National Guard and Air Force Reserve
Black Diamond Advanced Technology has completed delivery of its Modular Tactical System (MTS) to several units within the United States Air National Guard (ANG) and Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC). Having fulfilled equipment delivery of the 92 MTS kits specified in the two separate contracts, Black Diamond is now training end-users on the proper operation and employment of the MTS. [See press release and RuggedPCReview's description of the Modular Tactical System] -- Posted Monday, October 15, 2012

Sony halts Tablet S sales for not meeting splash proof spec
According to TechHive, Sony has stopped sales of its Android-based 9.4-inch Xperia Tablet S because the tablet "may not meet the splash proof specification." Sony is now offering a free inspection program (see here) and cautions "to protect your product, please be sure not to use your Xperia Tablet S where water may splash onto it." -- Posted Friday, October 12, 2012

Toughbook SX2: Panasonic's latest business-rugged 3rd-gen Intel Core i5-powered ultra-light is faster, lower, wider
Panasonic has released the Toughbook SX2, a "business-rugged" Intel Core i5-3320M powered notebook with a 12.1-inch 1600 x 900 display and an integrated super-multi optical drive. Designed to withstand the drops and spills of a typical business day, the SX2 weighs just over three pounds, and that's with a massive 98 watt-hour battery good for over 13 hours of operation on a charge. [See analysis and specs of the Panasonic Toughbook SX2] -- Posted Thursday, October 11, 2012

Harris introduces rugged Android-based smartphone for public safety LTE
Harris Corporation announced the InTouch RPC-200 Android-based rugged smartphone designed specifically for public safety LTE networks. The RPC-200 measures 7.3 x 3.8 inches, has a 4-inch hardened display, and a 5-megapixel camera that can also do HD video. The InTouch joins the existing Harris line of Android-based LTE communications technologies that also includes the BTC-100 public safety LTE tablet and the BeOn application. [See Harris InTouch press release] -- Posted Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Socket Mobile adds Android support to cordless ring scanner
Socket Mobile has released Android support for its Socket Bluetooth Cordless Ring Scanner (CRS) 9P hands-free barcode scanner for warehousing and logistics. Both the SocketScan 10 keyboard wedge software and SocketScan 10 SDK now include Android support for the CRS 9P. The update makes it possible for manufacturers, logistics providers, and package carriers to track assets and inventory in real time using the latest Android smartphones and tablets. -- Posted Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Handheld Group announces high-res, Atom N2800-powered 10-inch rugged Windows tablet
Handheld Group announced the launch of the Algiz 10X rugged tablet PC. The Intel Atom N2800-powered Algiz 10X runs Windows 7 on a 16:9 aspect ratio wide-format 1366 x 768 pixel sunlight readable display. The IP65-sealed unit has a resistive digitizer for unambiguous operation in any environmental conditions, comes standard with 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 64GB SSD, u-blox GPS, 5mp camera, Bluetooth 4.0, and optional Gobi 3000 carrier-independent mobile broadband. [See description and specs of the Handheld Algiz 10X] -- Posted Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Winmate C350T: traditional PDA form factor, Android OS
These days, almost all consumer smartphones pretty much look like the iPhone, and most ruggedized versions do, too. There is, however, still room for conventional rugged PDAs with physical keypads, especially if they can run either Android or Windows CE, and can accommodate a camera, 1D/2D scanner 3G mobile broadband, and even RFID. [See description and specs of the Winmate C350T] -- Posted Monday, October 8, 2012

Panasonic issues case study on successful tablet implementation for auto insurer
Panasonic published a new case study highlighting auto/home/life insurer Amica's successful deployment of Toughbook 19 convertible tablets, which have increased auto appraiser efficiency and overall customer satisfaction. [See Panasonic case study Amica deploys toughbook 19s to auto appraisers to improve efficiencies and enhance customersí satisfaction]. -- Posted Monday, October 8, 2012

MobileDemand blog: Are rugged computers right for your police department?
MobileDemand posted a blog article that discusses the benefits of rugged computers, and especially rugged Tablet PCs, for law enforcement. It lists the advantages of tablets specifically designed for law enforcement deployments, what officers can do with a rugged tablet, as well as overall benefits. [Read Are rugged computers right for your police department?] -- Posted Thursday, October 4, 2012

Added: the new TabletKiosk eo a7400 Windows tablet
Many business applications require a small and handy tablet that runs Windows but still offers the capacitive multi-touch interface the public now almost takes for granted. And that's what TabletKiosk offers with their new eo A7400 7-inch tablet. It's based on the 1.6GHz Intel Atom N2600, offers up to 128GB of SSD, weighs under two pounds, and can accommodate optional 3.5G and a mag stripe reader. And there's also optional dual input that combines procap and a Wacom digitizer. [See analysis and specs of the TabletKiosk eo A7400] -- Posted Thursday, October 4, 2012

GammaTech releases second-gen Mobile Clinical Assistant tablet
GammaTech announced the Durabook T10L2, a ruggedized tablet loosely fashioned after Intel's mobile clinical assistant reference design of a few years ago. This is GammaTech's second gen MCA, and it shows in a number of improvements such as a more ergonomic design, a multi-touch display, and a switch to the dual-core Intel Atom D525 processor platform. Being designed for indoor clinical environments, the Durabook tablet is not only tough and rugged, but also easy to clean and disinfect. [See description and specs of the GammaTech Durabook T10L2] -- Posted Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sand Springs police department deploys Intermec e-Citation solution for improved safety and efficiency
Intermec announced that the Sand Springs Police Department, located in the suburbs of Tulsa, Oklahoma, has deployed a new e-Citation solution featuring the Intermec CN50 mobile computer and digiTICKET software from Tulsa-based Saltus Technologies. The solution replaces SSPD's carbon paper-based process for improved efficiency and officer safety. With the new system, officers scan the 2D barcode on a driverís license using the CN50 scanner and can complete tickets on mobile printers. The CN50 also allows the digiTICKET software to capture an electronic signature, photograph, GPS coordinates of the stop and even voice-directed notes by the officer. [See Intermec press release]
-- Posted Monday, October 1, 2012

Datalogic approveds 2012-2014 business plan
Datalogic's board of directors approved the company's 2012-2014 business plan that estimates a compound annual growth rate of over 14% to reach 2014 revenue of between US$ 680 and 700 million. The Plan is based on strengthening the Group's competitiveness on its reference markets -- Automatic Data Capture (ADC, which now includes Datalogic Mobil) and Industrial Automation (IA) -- as well as growth in emerging countries and an ongoing improvement in industrial efficiency and productivity. Datalogic also plans to extend the range of mobile computers, for which the Group will in particular design new platforms for the promising Asian markets. [See Datalogic press release] -- Posted Monday, October 1, 2012

MobileDemand adds rugged/data collection industry veteran Jon Rasmussen
MobileDemand announced that industry veteran Jon Rasmussen has joined the company as Senior Director of Product Management. Rasmussen comes to MobileDemand from Intermec Technologies where he was Marketing Director for four years. [See MobileDemand press release] -- Posted Monday, October 1, 2012

Full review: Advantech L158T fanless Panel PC
Panel PCs like the Advantech PPC-L158T are designed to bring computing to all sorts of places where a desktop or notebook computer isn't feasible or just won't do. Systems integrators use this type of hardware in all sort of industrial equipment, as point-of-information terminals, interactive kiosks, point-of-sale systems, commercial gaming platforms, medical projects, and numerous other applications. RuggedPCReview.com analyzed and benchmarked the affordable Intel Atom D525-powered Advantech PPC L158T that has a 15-inch touch screen, plenty of connectivity, and is built like a tank. [See full review of the Advantech PPC-L158T fanless Panel PC -- Posted Monday, October 1, 2012

Motorola Solutions completes acquisition of Psion
Motorola Solutions announced that it has completed the acquisition of Psion for approximately $200 million in cash. [See Motorola solutions press release] -- Posted Monday, October 1, 2012

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    The editor and co-founder of Pen Computing Magazine launched RuggedPCReview.com late 2005 as a website dedicated to providing news and information about rugged mobile computer technology and its applications. The site aims to be an industry clearinghouse for rugged computing equipment hardware reviews as well as an information source on rugged computing terminology, definitions, testing, and enabling technologies.

    "Over the many years that we have been testing and reviewing rugged mobile computers, and in our professional careers prior, we have noticed that there is very little standardization and that potential clients are often confused where and what to buy," said Dr. Conrad H. Blickenstorfer, Editor-in-Chief of RuggedPCReview.com and former CIO of the New York State Dormitory Authority. "We hope that our new service will answer many questions and provide all the answers a client needs to make an informed decision."